Pakistan says New Zealand received threatening emails before and after it arrived in Pakistan, including an email sent from India to the wife of Martin Guptill in which the opening batsman received a death threat.
An unspecified threat to New Zealand's cricket team that prompted them to call off a tour of Pakistan came in an email that originated in India, Pakistan's information minister has said.
"This email was generated from India through a VPN showing the location of Singapore," Fawad Chaudhry told reporters on Wednesday.
"The post stated that New Zealand cricket team should not go to Pakistan as Daesh would attack it," Chaudhry said.
New Zealand's cricket squad arrived home on Wednesday after abandoning their tour of Pakistan last week citing a security threat.
New Zealand Cricket said they were aware of a "specific and credible" threat but did not give details.
1. India’s Sunday Guardian published a report based on fake Facebook post claiming threat to NZ cricket team in Pakistan.— Sana Jamal (@Sana_Jamal) September 22, 2021
2. Indian email IDs, devices and person named Om Prakash Mishra from Mumbai involved in sending fake threats to Martin Guptill's wife and NZ Police. pic.twitter.com/nNGKZ5Y5z8
Pakistan seeking Interpol's help
Chaudhry said a fake social media post was shared with former Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commander Ehsanullah Ehsan's name in August that warned the New Zealand team against visiting Pakistan.
Citing an article published by Indian newspaper The Sunday Guardian on August 21, Chaudhry said the paper had warned the visiting cricketers could get attacked in Pakistan.
"The article published in The Sunday Guardian centred around Ehsanullah Ehsan's post," he said. "Indian journalist Abhinandan Mishra [paper's bureau chief] has close relations with former Afghan vice-president Amrullah Saleh," he said.
Chaudhry said that on August 24, an email was sent to New Zealand cricketer Martin Guptill's wife that issued a death threat to Guptil.
He said the email was sent using ProtonMail and that Pakistan is seeking Interpol's help in identifying the author of the email.
The Pakistani minister said another email threat was sent to the New Zealand team on September 19 from an Indian device.
"The device was operating 13 email IDs" and belongs to a man in India's Maharastra state, he said.
"This is a very strong link to India," he said.
"We believe this is a campaign against international cricket," Chaudhry said.
West Indies team also threatened
India's Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to the request for comment.
Chaudhry added that the West Indies team, due to arrive in December, had also been sent a threat that he said was fake.
Shunned by all after a deadly 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore, Pakistan has been trying to woo back top international teams.
New Zealand's withdrawal dealt a massive blow to Pakistan's hopes of staging regular international cricket, with England subsequently calling off their men's and women's tours.
But England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) took an independent decision without consulting its government.
Anger in Pakistan
Pakistani officials have reacted strongly to tour cancellations.
The "western bloc" seems united against Pakistan, said Ramiz Raja, Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) chairman, on Tuesday.
Cricket-crazy Pakistanis were eagerly waiting for a series of matches in Rawalpindi when the Black Caps pulled out minutes before the tournament was to start last week.
Shameful for New Zealand to cancel its tour of Pakistan just because of stupid rumors about security. I’ve spent years in both countries and I always feel safer in Pakistan (left) than NZ (right) #PakistanZindabad 🇵🇰 pic.twitter.com/MZ3laP4KN7— Jeremy McLellan (@JeremyMcLellan) September 18, 2021
Then on Monday, England announced it will not send its men and women cricket teams to play home games in Pakistan, delivering a financial and credibility blow to Islamabad.
For many in Pakistan, the decision of the English team would seem akin to a stab in the back as last summer Pakistan helped England save its cricketing summer by sending its national team there to play a series despite serious Covid-19 concerns.
Islamabad says it has deployed hundreds of security officials for the protection of foreign players and taken sufficient measures to ensure their safety.
You're going to want the sound on this one 🔈🔈🔈— Kay Burley (@KayBurley) September 21, 2021
Journalist and Author @OborneTweets launches a furious attack on @ECB_cricket after both England's men's and women's tours of Pakistan were cancelled over security concerns. 🏏 RC#KayBurley pic.twitter.com/M4mIXS56jU
The British High Commissioner in Pakistan wrote on Twitter that he had not advised against the tour on security grounds and that the ECB took the decision on its own.
"The British High Commission supported the tour; did not advise against it on security grounds, and our travel advice for Pakistan has not changed," Christian Turner said.
"This was a decision made by the ECB, which is independent of the British government based on concerns for players welfare."
England is scheduled to tour Pakistan for test and limited-overs matches late in 2022 and Turner said he "will redouble my efforts in advance of England’s Autumn 2022 tour."
'England failed to repay debt they owe to Pakistan'
Former England cricket captain Mike Atherton lashed out at ECB's decision to cancel the Pakistan tour, saying "England have failed to repay the debt they owe to Pakistan."
"If security advice is the reason for the cancellation, that would be totally understandable, but to cite Covid fatigue, effectively, is to have a short memory of what touring teams, not least Pakistan, went through in England last summer at the height of the pandemic, so helping to save the professional game from financial catastrophe," he wrote in The Times article.
"The sense of anger and betrayal in Pakistan is real and understandable."